Skip to main content

Major Roads Projects

Volume 449: debated on Monday 24 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the forecast costs are of each Highways Agency major roads project; (88133)

(2) what steps he is taking to tackle the effects of increasing construction material and energy prices on major transport projects.

The Chief Executive of the Highways Agency wrote to the Transport Select Committee in April 2006 with information on the latest ministerially approved budgets for major road schemes. I have placed the same data in the Library. Since April the following changes have been approved:

£ million

Previous approved budget cost

Latest approved budget cost

M25 J12-15 Widening

120

127

A47 Thorney Bypass

27

28

A66 Temple Sowerby and Improvement at Winderwath

39

40

M40/A404 Handy Cross Junction Improvement

14

13

A66 Greta Bridge to Stephen Bank Improvement

9

10

A66 Long Newton Junction

8

12

A57/A628 Mottram-Tintwistle Bypass

103

106

A590 High and Low Newton Bypass

22

35

A2 Bean-Cobham Phase 2

101

120

A2/A282 Dartford Improvement

72

122

In addition, on 20 July the Secretary of State’s announcement on the Inspector’s Report and scheme orders for the A3 Hindhead Improvement noted that the latest estimate for that scheme is £370.9 million.

The Chief Executive noted in his letter to the Select Committee that the cost estimates were being reviewed, principally to take account of construction inflation.

The Secretary of State has now asked Mike Nichols, Chairman of the Nichols Group, to review the Highways Agency approach to cost estimating and project management, and to make recommendations, including on how the agency should best assess, monitor and report on risks to its cost estimates. He will report in the autumn.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the economic effects of the implementation of the published scheme for improvements to the A303 Stonehenge in the first year after construction. (88240)

The Highways Agency's economic analysis of the A303 Stonehenge scheme is based on an assumed start of construction in 2008. On this assumption, it is estimated that in the first year after construction (2013) of the published scheme there would be travel time savings of between £3.495 million at low growth and £6.317 million at high growth. In addition, there would be safety benefits (resulting from a reduction in accidents) of between £2.035 million at low growth and £2.211 million at high growth.